Gigi Devlin ’24
On Sunday, April 24, Mercersburg’s Model United Nations PGA hosted a conference on campus. The problems at hand? A crisis committee on the world’s rising waters and the threat of nuclear war.
The conference took place in the Irvine Hall Lecture rom and was an all-day affair for the students serving as delegates and the moderators. Student leader and moderator Kevin Hang ‘24 said, “I thought that it was pretty fun designing the conference and choosing the topic of discussion. It was also pretty interesting keeping in mind that a significant amount of people are new to MUN and especially the crisis committee.”
Many students signed up for the conference as delegates and even more from the Model UN PGA worked as moderators and staff. Maddy Lusser ‘24, Russian delegate, and veteran of the CMUNCE conference in January, said “Something that definitely should be recognized is how professional the conference was. The moderators all knew what was going on, which isn’t always something I’ve seen at conferences.” Lusser also loved getting to meet new people and interacting with others in ways that she hadn’t before. “It was a really good experience and it was just so fun!”
Delegates represented all grades and experiences. For some like Yiting Sun ‘25 and Dylan Stiffler ‘24, though, it was their first conference. Others, like Lusser, have participated actively in MUN throughout high school, yet the experience was still enriching for her, as it was only her second time participating in a crisis-style conference.
While the conference went well and the participants had great fun, don’t be fooled into thinking that Model UN is easy. Bob Hollis ‘25 said, “the hardest part of the conference was “definitely trying to learn about MUN in general. I’ve only done one conference before this and it wasn’t even a crisis, but luckily there are a lot of resources out there to teach you a crash course to crisis.” From his vantage point as a moderator, Hang said, “As crisis director, I think that it was a lot more stressful and hectic than I had originally anticipated. Maybe that was an issue with my organization and just being a bit unprepared, but it seemed to get a lot better later on in the conference.”
Lusser worked all week long on her position paper, a paper in which the delegates must express an overview of their country’s position on the topic at hand, and research so that they are well-prepared for the conference.
Justine O’Connell, the PGA advisor of Model UN, was pleased with the event. She said, “I think it went well, it’s really hard to do a crisis committee in one day but the delegates had a lot of fun.” She sees room for improvement and is excited to hear the feedback from the delegates and moderators.
Overall, the students enjoyed the experience a lot and made the best out of it: Lusser said that the funniest part was when 16 out of the 17 countries signed off on a resolution to launch a nuclear bomb on Micronesia.
The awards for the event were: Verbal Commendation to Ruby Shang ‘24, representing India; Outstanding Delegates to Gabe McGuire ‘24, representing Micronesia, and Maddy Lusser ‘24, representing Russia; and Best Delegate to Bob Hollis ‘24 representing New Zealand. The success of the event means that more student-designed conferences will be likely at Mercersburg in the future.